At St. Luke's in Annapolis Royal the Royal Consort Choir treated us to a sort of Billboard's Top Ten of the music of a century ago.
The #1 hit of the year, Alexander's Ragtime Band, was verboten in the Imperial German Army, for the Kaiser had decreed that the two-step, as well as the tango, were too vulgar, and therefore unsuitable for officers in uniform.
The people of the Annapolis Valley had just voted to make their county dry, and so Wine is a Mocker was a popular song. But women couldn't yet vote in Nova Scotia, so men could be heard singing Don't Let The Women Vote, which is surprisingly catchy: may it even be why Québec did not let the ladies vote in full until 1940? The Nova Scotian ladies, however, had the Women's Battle Song, and gained their right in 1918.
The car was becoming popular among the masses, so The Little Ford Rambled Right Along was very apropos of the time.
When the Great War began in August, the merry tune It's A Long Way To Tipperary echoed what everyone expected: that it would be a magnificent quick affair. But by year's end, when about one million men had died and the the trenches had been dug, the tone had changed. Hence the poignant Keep the Home Fires Burning:
Keep the Home-fires burning
While your hearts are yearning.
Though your lads are far away
They dream of Home;
There's a silver lining
Through the dark cloud shining
Turn the dark cloud inside out,
Till the boys come home.